On 20 September 2017, the Minister of the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade (the MOIT) issued Decision No. 3610a/QD-BCT announcing the Ministry's plan to eliminate 675 investment requirements and conditions currently imposed on enterprises. Practical application of Decision No. 3610a/QD-BCT will reveal the effective outcome of this announcement as investment procedures will be regulated by the MOIT at its discretion.

The Decision comes with a set of detailed annexes, each of which sets forth the specific investment requirements and conditions to be abolished in the respective trade areas under the Ministry's supervision (e.g. franchising, oil, gas, logistics, foodstuff).

Notably, the MOIT plans to remove the registration requirement for franchising operations. The Ministry will no longer require foreign franchisors to register with the MOIT before granting franchising rights to Vietnamese franchisees (Article 5 of Decree 35/2006/ND-CP on Franchising). The elimination of the franchise registration requirement is set to be effective by Q2 2018.

The MOIT expressed hope that by reducing administrative procedures more foreign enterprises will invest in business opportunities in Vietnam.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of Decision No. 3610a/QDBCT.

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